Jason Moralee

Associate Professor of History
Jason Moralee

Moralee Receives Prestigious Rome Prize

June 10, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University Associate Professor of History Jason Moralee is the recipient of the prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome.

Beginning this fall, Moralee will spend 11 months in Rome as a fellow at the academy, working among 30 fellows in diverse fields. “The artists and scholars who are awarded the Rome Prize are chosen from across the nation and represent the highest standard of excellence in the arts and humanities,” said Shawn Miller, program director of the academy.

Moralee, the first Illinois Wesleyan faculty member to receive a full fellowship with the academy, said the prize is more than an honor.  “I saw the American Academy in Rome when I was doing my graduate studies, and I knew it would always be a goal of mine to study there,” he said. “It is fabulously situated, and an incredible opportunity to speak with other scholars.”

Founded in 1894, the academy is located on the Janiculum, the highest hill within the walls of Rome. The goal of the fellowship program is to invite scholars from different fields to converse and collaborate. “We hope to give those creating art the chance to speak with those who study the best in art and humanities,” said Miller. “The fellows live in the same buildings and eat together. It offers them a chance to share ideas, and develop their work to new depths. It is a true intellectual community.” Other scholars and artists joining Moralee include architects, artists and composers, as well as professors from such universities as Columbia and Colgate.

Although many of the classes he teaches at Illinois Wesleyan are associated with ancient Rome, Moralee’s research places him in the area of medieval studies for the Rome Prize. “My work is often a bridge between ancient and medieval studies,” said Moralee, who will explore why Rome’s holiest temple – Jupiter Optimus Maximus – fell into ruin during the Middle Ages, instead of experiencing a revival or transformation to a Christian edifice, like the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. He hopes his work, titled “Rome’s Holy Mountain: The Rise and Fall of the Capitoline Hill,” will serve as the basis of his next scholarly book. 

Moralee is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1995. He received a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997 and 2002 respectively. The author of For Salvation's Sake: Provincial Loyalty, Personal Religion, and Epigraphic Production in the Roman and Late Antique Near East, as well as several scholarly articles, Moralee has received fellowships to conduct research in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.  

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960